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Baal Teshuva Parents & Previously Overweight Parents

What do they have in common?

I noticed a pattern among many Baal Teshuva families I’ve met over the years. It seemed that the parents were overly concerned (borderline obsessed even) with the kid’s stringencies and how meticulous they were about Halacha, especially things that can be seen externally, such as how they dress.

I’m no expert, but my guess is that they want their kids to be better than they were, also because, to them, this determines how they’re viewed by others. If their kids are perceived as frum, then they will be accepted, and if not, they will be seen as different and maybe even blamed.

What does this have to do with dieting and weight?

I see the same pattern. Parents who went through the struggle of being overweight and are now “reformed” have the same higher-than-normal expectations of their children. They’re the ones who have no junk snacks in the house and are very strict with food rules. To them, there is no gray, only black and white, just like the Baal Teshuva parents with religion.

I don’t have a solution. This is just an observation from someone who happens to be both a Baalas Teshuva and a previously heavy person.

I am proud of the fact that I am pretty “chill” and “regular” with both my kids and clients, so I know it CAN be done!